Market volatility of the kind we've seen in the past couple of years always produces a couple of huge winners. John Paulson emerged as the big winner on the short side as the market imploded, with his prescient shorting of subprime, while Tepper is being crowned king of the long side on the way up. It's usually never the same guy who outperforms in both directions, which is why I personally find Mr. Paulson's returns to be far more impressive so far. Not only did he short financials and produce spectacular returns, but he's had decent returns this year as he was also a big buyer of bank stocks earlier in the year.
Regardless, Mr. Tepper deserves his time in the limelight as the reigning hedge fund master of 2009. Certainly the folks at Carnegie Mellon will be calling him soon. The business school of Carnegie Mellon is named after Mr. Tepper since his $55 million donation in 2004. Although generous to his alma mater, Mr. Tepper still lives in the same two-story home he purchased in 1990 for $1.2 million. And if you discount the fact that he owns a brass replica of a pair of nuts that he likes to rub for luck during the trading day, he doesn't sound like your run-of-the-mill mega-rich hedge fund clown.